Bowling for Columbine

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Bowling for Columbine is a 2002 American documentary film about the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Written and directed by Michael Moore.
Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts? taglines

Michael Moore[edit]

  • It was the morning of April 20th 1999, and it was pretty much like any other morning in America. The Farmer did his chores. The milkman made his deliveries. The President bombed another country whose name we couldn't pronounce. Out in Fargo, North Dakota, Cary McWilliams went on his morning walk. Back in Michigan, Mrs Hughes welcomed her students for another day of school. And out in a little town in Colorado, two boys went bowling at 6 in the morning. Yes, it was a typical day in the United States of America.
  • This was my first gun. I couldn't wait to go out and shoot up the neighborhood.
  • Well, here's my first question. Do you think it's kind of dangerous handing out guns at a bank?
  • What if I had a spear?
  • Suddenly, our children had become little monsters.
  • The media, the corporations, the politicians... have all done such a good job of scaring the American public, it's come to the point where they don't need to give any reason at all.
  • I left the Heston estate atop Beverly Hills and walked back into the real world. To an America living and breathing in fear. Where gun sales are now at an all record high. And where, in the end, it all comes back to 'Bowling for Columbine'.
  • Yes, it was a glorious time to be an American.
  • Thank you for not shooting me
  • "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective? Or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?" Well, I've never been committed to a mental institution. What does that mean, have I "ever been adjudicated mentally defective"?
  • Oh, with a crime. Okay, so if I'm just normally mentally defective but not criminal...

Chris Rock[edit]

  • You don't need no gun control. You know what you need? Bullet control. I think all bullets should cost $5000. You know why? If a bullet cost $5000 there'd be no more innocent bystanders. People would stop and go, "Damn, he musta done something! Shit, they put $50,000 worth of bullets in his ass!"
  • And people would think before they killed somebody if a bullet cost $5,000. It'd be like, "Man, I will blow your fuckin' head off...if I could afford it! I'm gonna get another job, start saving some money, and you a dead man! You better hope I can't get no bullets on layaway!"


  • If more guns made people safer, then America would be one of the safest countries in the world. It isn't. It's the opposite.


[Moore speaking to Evan McCollum, Director of Communications at a Lockheed Martin plant near Columbine]
Michael Moore: "So you don't think our kids say to themselves, 'Dad goes off to the factory every day, he builds missiles of mass destruction.' What's the difference between that mass destruction and the mass destruction over at Columbine High School?"
McCollum:I guess I don't see that specific connection because the missiles that you're talking about were built and designed to defend us from somebody else who would be aggressors against us."

Interviewer: What's your view on high school?
Male student: Uh, I love it. Uh, I learn, I get picked on by bastards who hate me, and the principal's a dick.
Interviewer: All right, what causes school violence?
Male student: Uh, him. [Points to an overweight boy sitting nearby]

I'm Nicole Shleif.
And I'm Amanda Lamontagne.
And you went to Columbine?
And you were with Eric and Dylan? In their class?
We were in their bowling class.
In their bowling class?
What's bowling class?
Just an elective you can take for a gym credit.
Where's the educational value of this, though?
Um... I guess there isn't really any.
No, there's not.
I learned how to bowl a lot better, that's for sure.
What were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold like?
I mean, not very social.
I didn't really know who they were.
Not very social, just kinda kept to themselves.
How good a bowlers were Eric and Dylan?
When we played them, all I remember is they were just, like, crazy.
They would just chuck the ball.
Chuck it down there.
Throw the ball down; didn't really care how they bowled.
Yeah, they didn't really care about their scores.
Deputy Sheriff Steve Davis: What were the suspects doing the morning of attack? I told you that I'd heard that they were bowling; that's the only thing I'm aware of.
Moore:So did Dylan and Eric show up that morning and bowl two games before moving on to shoot up the school? And did they just chuck the balls down the lane? Did this mean something? Um, I guess they went to their favourite class. Why wasn't anyone blaming bowling for warping the minds of Eric and Dylan to commit their evil deeds? Wasn't that just as plausible as blaming Marilyn Manson? After all, it was apparently the last thing they did before the massacre.But wait a minute. There's lots of bowling going on in other countries.

[Two young men and a woman are hanging outside a fast food restaurant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada]
Interviewer: Where are you supposed to be right now?
Man 1: School.
Man 2: School.
Woman: School.
Interviewer: Aren't you worried about what you're not learning?
Man 1: Nah, I'm mostly helping everybody else in the class. Then I barely get to do my work.
Interviewer: How about you? You're not worried about your education?
Woman: Well, I've got the textbook.
Interviewer: Why do you think we have so many, uh... gun murders in America?
Man 2: Uh... I have no idea. People must hate each other or something.
Interviewer: Oh, you mean Canadians don't hate each other?
Man 2: Well, we do but we don't go to the point of shooting somebody just to get revenge.
Interviewer: What do you do?
Man 2: I don't know. Tease them, maybe. Make fun of them, ridicule them. Throw eggs at them.
Woman:Every time I turn on the TV in the States, it's always about a murder here, a gunfight, hostile position... I just think the States, their view of things is fighting. That's how they resolve everything. If there's... there's something going on in another country, they send people over to fight it and... They are the most powerful country in the world, though. Canada's more just, like, "Let's negotiate, let's work something out." Where the States is, "We'll kill you and that'll be the end of that." Um, if guns were... If more guns made people safer, then America would be one of the safest countries in the world. It isn't. It's the opposite.

Michael Moore: Now wait a minute... The Constitution says you've got the right to bear arms. What do you think 'arms' means?
John Nichols: Well it's not like these... [waves his arms] It means we ought to have handguns if we want to.
Michael Moore: What about nuclear weapons? Should you be able to have weapons-grade plutonium?
John Nichols: Well I think that oughta be restricted.
Michael Moore: Oh, so you do think there should be restrictions.
John Nichols: Well...there's wackos out there.

Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say and that's what no one did.

John Nichols: I sleep at night with a gun under my pillow.
Michael Moore: Aw, come on. Everyone says that.


  • Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts?
  • One Nation Under The Gun

External links[edit]

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